Introduced inPokémon Sword and Shield(“SwSh”) and is used in recentPokémon Scarlet i Violet("ScVi"),Galarian and PaldianAlphabet of languagesis a unique series of characters meant to represent the languages spoken by the people of the Galar and Paldea regions, and can be found all over the region: on various signs, storefronts, clothing, products, advertisements, random boxes... you name it, on it is. But what is unique about it is that it is unlike any other language script that can be seen inprevious Pokemon seriesor even in real life, although there are obviously a lot of similarities with existing signs from existing languages.
But what exactlyAlphabet of the Galarian/Paldaean language? Do letters or words mean something? Words are often repeated, so they must mean something, right? Well, since datingSwSh, I have already discovered and deciphered a lot. And with the help of everyone onLanguage Institutechannelpreko naPER YEAR! Strife, we managed to uncover even more secrets. And yet, despite all our work, there is still much to uncover and discover. But here's what we managed to solvefar:
Let's get down to the basics:
I'm sure many of you are visiting this website for the first time and just want some straight answers about it. So here they are:
- TheAlphabet of the Galarian/Paldaean language("GPLA") has41 unique characters:ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0123456789+?#!^
- Want to download the font I made so you can write your own GPLA words on your artwork?Click here!
- Based on the way these letters are used in various Gallic and Paldian texts, it appears that these characters also represent both "UPPERCASE" and "lowercase" letters, namely:
- UPPER CASE—ABCDEGJKLMQRSTVWXY34789+?#
- small words—FHINOPUZ01256!^
- GPLA is a unique script that, while it appears to be based on existing letters from existing languages, is overall completely new and unique… almost as if Game Freak intended for players torecognizeas a kind of human language, but one that celebrates all the languages of humanity instead of just one.
- See the "Character Inspirations" section below for more specific connections between GPLA characters and those from other specific languages.
- GPLA words to ido notspell actual existing words. And of the words they spell, they don't use the same characters many times. To put it simply, I would call the Gallic alphabet "consistent chatter“.
- This is really hard to explain, because the GPLA is very inconsistent in the way it uses its letters. It's almost as if Game Freak deliberately avoided making it comprehensible to prevent any potential claim that secret messages were added to the game.
- When GPLA words mean SOMETHING, they are usually proper names (characters, companies, cities, etc.) or Pokémon elemental types. These words are also rooted in Japaneseromajimore often than not.
- Names like GalarGA9A4, Pokemon is?wru#wt, Wedgehurst jeM8EDDK, It's nice94QQA7, The type of steel isWKDKJ8, and so on... meaning that if you see those words anywhere in the GPLA text, you can be sure that they are being specifically referenced.
- Also consider that Milo's Gallic name,94QQA7, is based on his Japanese nameTHE CENTURY. Same with the word for steel type,WKDKJ8, which is based on the Japanese word for species,HAGANE; note those twoKwords forromajithe letter "A" inHAGANE.
- Check it outGalarian word listiPaldean word listpage for examples of specific examples
- Most of the time, however, the GPLA words are meaningless... random letters strung together mostly to allow Game Freak's background artists to add GPLA text for looks, but without any meaning.
- We take this into account in the design of the documenttext "the law itself".… specifically, we use dummy text thatlooklike actual writing but stripped of any meaning to fill in the blanks to give us an idea of what something will look like before any actual text is added.
- Well the GPLA is full of similar text, almost like Game Freak gave those artists a list of Galarian text they could copy and paste into their artwork. Since it's not meant to be recognizable - like it doesn't include a character's name or Pokémon type - then apparently their art staff doesn't care if they use nonsensical text.
- I'm trying to put it togetherwhat is this fake text, in order to use it to determine which text is actually fake or legitimate.
- It's even more frustrating when it's clear what the word GPLA is supposed to besomething, characters used in one word do not always refer to another.
- For example,GV+E 4REVXit's clear "GAME FREAK", docGA9A4 BEWCVEis obviously “GALAR LEAGUE”. TheG/G iE/E are the same, but….
- If we accept "GAME FREAK", that could mean the second image says something like "G***F *E**AE"
- But if we accept "GALAR LEAGUE", that could mean that the first picture says "GU*E R*EU*"
- So many words fall into this problem.
- That's why I call it "consistent chatter“: even if the letters do not match—for example how4koristi se i za "F" i za "R" iVis used for both "A" and "U" - we canmorerecognize that a certain level of consistency is being used, even if it is only being used on a word-by-word basis. It has not been usedabsolutelyat random.
- However, it is unclear WHAT that potential consistency might be, for example if artists were given freedom and therefore a certain artist preferred to use one set of connections while another artist preferred another, or if the decision was made by those in a higher position.
- One thing is definitely clear: when a word clearly represents something, that "something" always corresponds one-to-one with the English orChinese, or at least some Latin alphabet. For example:
- english words —GA9A4 BEWCVE= “LEAGUE GALLERY”, odn
- Chinese forms of Japanese words —94QQA7= “YARROW”, ne “MILO”, Turffield Gym Leader
- Another reason why I don't believe that letters are used PURELY at random is the fact that some letters are clearly intended to be "lowercase" letters, versus other "UPPERCASE" letters.(More on that below.)
The fact that the letters don't seem to correspond to any sound or value has made many people give up on it. But I think
they just gave up!there is more to the Galar language than other people give it credit for.
Other facts I have discovered so far include:
- The letters themselves appear to be based on existing characters from various languages and scripts. After careful analysis, the four scripts that seem to be most prevalent are:
- Greek; or its descendants, such as Cyrillic or Coptic
- Runic languages, such as Futhark or Anglo-Saxon
- Japanese, mostly katakana, sometimes hiragana
- The other signs are neither, so they may come from Old English, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Georgian, etc. I plan to work on a guide detailing the most likely inspiration for each sign.
- Character form is used consistently; some exceptions do exist, but these are errors made by artists or programmers rather than unique elements of the language.
- This covers if, say, a graphic element with gallery letters is placed upside down or if a single character is drawn upside down. I also noticed a case where two "lowercase" characters were placed on top of each other to form new characters, but I'm sure that was intentional.
- One exception to this is the letter 0 , which I thought was a misdrawn O. However, as I progressed through the game, I started seeing more and more words with 0's in them... they were few and far between, but they DID exist . So I decided to count the 0 as its own sign versus a variant or poorly drawn O.
- Furthermore, the shape of the signs themselves does not affect their apparent meaning.
- For example,post on 4chan/vp/claimed that the figurexhas a different meaning because onexis thicker than the otherxmeaning "M" is opposite "S".
- Sorry Anon, but the only thing those different shapes represent is that it's a different font or typeface used for typing on Galarian(which is pretty cool IMHO).
- Regular numbers (i.e. Arabic numerals) exist in Galar, so route signs still use the numbers 0-9.
- Character frequency can also be used to establish some important facts about the Galarian language. For example:
- If gallery letters were used completely randomly, the frequency of each character used would be basically equal.
- In contrast, the alphabet used by a real language will use some letters significantly more than others (such as English uses E, O, and T much more than Z, J, and Q).
- But as it turns out, some letters definitely areuses more than other letters. Especially:
- OE6AWare used the most(descending order)
- PY40G?#are used the least(also in descending order)
- The last four least used characters,0,G,?i#, are actually used SIGNIFICANTLY less than the other five. Like, the frequency of those first five characters decreases reasonably, just for the last four to the bottom super fast. In fact, so far the characterGseems to be used only when writing the word for "GALAR",GA9A4, and nothing else I've seen.
- In any case, the fact that the frequency of use of the Galarian character is somewhere between "evenly used"(if it was accidental)and "some used significantly more than others"(if it's the right language)suggests that perhaps some of the artists of the element forSwShthey had a specific intention to make the language look "recognizable", while some artists just didn't care so they randomly threw letters and then copied and pasted them in multiple places.
- In fact, below is a perfect example of an example of an artist who was lazy and did the bare minimum to "look realistic".
These are literal versions of the Galar language and its dotted alphabet. However, there is still a lot to know! Check out the archives of my site to read some posts where I share some random scripting thoughts.
you i i aGalarian word list pagewhere I wrote down every Gallic word I could find; in fact, memoreI haven't made it to the 4th gym yet because I've been spending all my time finding words! Anyway, the Galarian Word List also further discusses the idea that some words are meant to be specific words, such as how:
- 1 ^OH= "1 car"
- 2+ ^OHZ= "2+ cars"
The word list will slowly determine whether a particular word is pure "nonsense" or actually has the intended meaning.
That's it for now! Thank you for visiting my site and I hope you stay for more!
(Below this you can read some of my older thoughts and ideas about the Galarian Alphabet, but I plan to remove it later or replace it with a more detailed breakdown of the above points.)
GALAR ALPHABET VALUES:
I'm currently still trying to get screenshots and other evidence to share with you... but for now here are two example scripts, which in turn will explain my three hypotheses for the Galar alphabet.
Now the first part of the text should have clearly read "Game Freak". However, it's super obvious to me that the first word on the green image should be "GALAR LEAGUE".
Note that inconsistent character usage, such as the "G" in "GALAR" not being the same as the "G" in "LEAGUE", can easily be changed by hand as this is common in other languages; "C" can make both "K" and "S" sounds in English (Cola vs Cents), and only G has two sounds (GIF vs GIF). So it's possible that Galarian himself has similar sounds for different characters.
The problem with accepting one or the other is that…
- if we accept "GAME FREAK", that could mean the second image says something like "G***F *E**AE"
- if we accept "GALAR LEAGUE", that could mean that the first picture says "GU*E R*EU*"
Now it is possible that one is absolutely correct and therefore the other really intends to write the other word. But even with both cases in mind, they lead me to my three hypotheses:
- HYPOTHESIS 1:The Galar alphabet is a simple code, where one symbol represents one specific letter of an existing language... and that language may be English or Japanese. In other words, the words, once deciphered, print the existing English or Japanese words.
- HYPOTHESIS 2:The Gallarian alphabet is a simple code, where one symbol represents one specific letter of an existing language... and that language is a completely fictional language ("Galarian"Language"), so with its consistent rules. That is, the words, once deciphered, spell words in a unique "Galar language", such as "HABY" = "fire" or "ERT" = "gym".
- HYPOTHESIS 3:The Galar alphabet is complete nonsense and there is no consistent use of its letters to spell anything.
Examples #1 are I spotted words that COULD be "GYM", "INN", "DAY"(as in "Yell-dan", Japanese for "team"), the aforementioned “GALAR LEAGUE”, apparently “GAME FREAK”, etc.
Example #3 is the idea that characters in "GAME FREAK" don't spell "GALAR LEAGUE", and/or vice versa. Likewise, I've seen other examples where the characters used in "GAME FREAK" don't refer to words that could be real words, but instead create gibberish.
I don't have any examples of #2, but the fact that I consider #3 a possibility may just be that I didn't do enough research and/or made mistakes and therefore didn't realize that it was just spelling words in a unique “Galarian language”.
Unfortunately, my research on this is still fresh. After all, I've only had the game for two days, and I've deliberately avoided materials related to it so as not to spoil myself, and thus I must be lagging behind other people's work. For example, there is a website to test the characters of the Galar alphabet, complete with what appears to be the entire alphabet.Look here.
INSPIRATION FOR THE CHARACTERS:
On the other hand, another fun part of sorting through the Galarian alphabet is to see which languages and scripts a particular Galarian character comes from. Some of them are obvious, others less so, but I would definitely like to find out what their inspirations were and share them with you.
Until I get some pictures, I can at least share a few observations; the following are easy to recognize, although in different rotations or facing:
- Obviously there arelatin charactersin it, such as:Y=Y,M=M,V=V,x=x
- Old English characterethcan be seen, albeit with a capital letter backwards:D=Ð,O=Ꝺ/ꝺ
- Some appear to be Greek, such as:E=x,B=S,+=P.s
- The Cyrillic alphabet is used, especially:L =D,Y=CH,W=F,R=and,#=L
- Japanese katakana characters include:9=The,A=In,7=The
- As well as Korean hangul characters like:K=cow,T=do,V=trillion,9=lol
- Lots of ancient Germanic/Norserunic alphabetto appear:B=ᛊ,C=ᚲ,R=ᚱ
- And finally, these Hebrew signs appear to have been made in:PNG=פ א ק
Of course, it's worth noting that these letters share some characters with each other - like the Greek, Cyrillic, and Latin alphabets all share similar characters - and how many of these comparisons are similar even though they're flipped or rotated. Basically, though, the whole goal of GPLA seems not to be a brand new alphabet per se, but to be a unique blend of all the world's major scripts, to further emphasize the universality and common ground we all share in our humanity.
Eventually I plan to make a neat little guide with pictures covering all the different inspirations for these characters, so keep an eye out for it here!
OK, that's all I have right now. I will share more of my research as I learn more things.
Anyway, I'm a HUGE language nerd. Not so much in actually talking about them(though not for lack of trying!)as much as in the actual development of new languages (i.emine, or constructed languages). Specifically, I've been making my own languages since high school, and there's actually one I've been working on sinceagoPER YEAR! existed. So seeing Galar and the later region of Paldea use their own alphabet in this way was a great crossover between the loves of my life.
Personally, I think it will be a mix of both hypothesis #1 and #3, but mostly the latter. A lot of the text doesn't seem to connect at all or is self-consistent... I'll say what I think later... and so I feel like Game Freak just strung random characters together. Not to mention the controversy that Game Freak seems to have lied about the work they put in and/or refused to put into it, so it seems like an odd allocation of resources to have someone work on devising a new language and alphabet, or at least a code for an existing one, if only random generation of "text" was enough.
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